(1) What do you like the most about living in Korea?
It’s hard to formulate an answer to that question because I am asked it very often, in more- or less-coherent forms. Usually I give a throwaway answer like, “The soju!” (a sort of hard liquor unique to Korea) or “The wimmin!” (which I actually enjoy but very rarely “enjoy” if you know what I mean) or “The food!” which I manage to enjoy very often without gaining weight!
But in honest truth I think that what I most enjoy about living here is the constant brain stimulus that I get from living immersed in a foreign language, culture, and therefore working and living in a social mileu that is, for me, in many ways alien… and yet which, also, being human, is decryptable for me, at least partially. It’s like a lot more usage out of my brain every day, especially since most of the people I hang out with socially are Korean.
(2) God stops by your apartment for a beer and some light conversation, and he says he’ll let you ask one question. What would
you ask him?
Assuming there is a God who can drink beer, visit my flat, and let me ask him one question, I would probably ask some silly complicated question that was constructed out of the important problems in all the philosophical readings I’d done up until that point. Probably something about the nature of the division between cognition and perception, something about hermeneutics, or maybe even something about the fine mechanics of the Big Bang and whether it was caused by this deity, by natural processes in another (probably inaccessible) universe, or by intelligent life forms experimenting with black hole creation and baby universe tuning in some other (probably inaccessible) universe.
But probably I would just ask him a question cleverly enough constructed for him to have to answer by telling me where that girl I am looking for is and proper directions on how to get there.
(3) What will you tell your grandchildren about your youth?
That during it we didn’t have even half the cool things they enjoy, and that I failed to appreciate the things we had when I was their age. That I spent too much of it worrying, but that I wasn’t careful enough even half of the time. That it was somehow pretty good anyway, and easier than my early adulthood.
(4) Luke Skywalker or Han Solo?
(5) Who’s your favorite philosopher?
I’d have to say it’s Soren Kierkegaard, pre-full-Christianization. His Either/Or is a downright hilarious piece of work, with my enjoyment mainly concentrated in the aesthetics-focused Either section of the book.
Of course, my knowledge of Kierkegaard is limited (and considering how hard I’m finding it to get my hands on his work here in Korea, I doubt that’ll change till I start ordering books from overseas… something I have no need of now for a while, I realized after having unpacked my books into my bookcase). Probably a more informed answer would be Foucault, whose work I have more familiarity with (I think I’ve read more than a third, maybe even half, of his output). He’s great (to a certain point, and you can see some of my criticisms of what’s missing after that point here).
If you’re interested in being interviewed by me, use the comment feature to tell me so. I’ll email you 5 questions, and you just have to answer them as truthfully as you want to, and post the rules below with them:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions – each person’s will be different.
3. Update your journal with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.